Professional shogi player Yaichi Kuzuryu (CV: Yuuma Uchida) is the youngest Ryuo to this day, but ever since he got his title the previous year, he has been in a slump. That’s when he find Ai Hinatsuru (CV: Rina Hidaka) in his apartment and she tells him to let her be her pupil, because he promised to do so during the Ryuo title match. He realises her potential and takes her as his pupil, but will his change of life get him out of his slump as a professional?
First I want to thank everyone for continuing to check out my blog even when I now have a child and my posts are irregular. I’m so happy you still take your time to stop by once in a while. This is my first review of 2018, and I hope to at least get a handful more out before the end of the year. I hope you all will continue to support me and the blog, comment, retweet, write on Facebook and what not. Thank you very much!
In a sense this show is really disturbing. I’m fine with a 9-year-old being a disciple of a 16-year-old, but there are instances that just don’t sit well with me, such as Ai coming out naked when Ginko (CV: Hisako Kanemoto) comes soon after Ai has arrived. The arrangement of marriage decided by Yaichi and Ai’s mother is also somewhat disturbing, but I also understand the reasoning behind it, from both sides. Ai’s mother need to ensure the family business continues and Ai is the supposed heir of the business, but she both saw the determination of Ai and Yaichi and decides to compromise by requiring Yaichi to marry into the family instead of forcing Ai to stop playing shogi at that specific time. I think Yaichi agrees because he’s willing to bet on that Ai is that strong a player. Somewhat disturbing, but acceptable. Ai running out naked is clearly just fanservice and that’s terrifying as she’s only nine years old. The fact that the children keep increasing is also rather off-setting. While this show is still going on, I just can’t continue watch it without feeling at least slightly disturbed by it, and not in good conscience.
Based on just the few episodes I watched, which totaled to five, this show reminds me more of Hikaru no Go than March Comes In Like a Lion, which a lot of people seem to compare this show with. I think they think that two shows that cover shogi would be the same. I haven’t watched March Comes In Like a Lion, but have read the original work and it is more focused on Rei than on shogi. Hikaru no Go is, while still about the main character – Hikaru – more like a sports show or comic and has a considerably higher focus on the game go. The Ryuo’s Work is Never Done! does indeed both focus on aspects and Ai reminds me a little about Hikaru, while Yaichi is a teacher – similar to Sai, except Sai is since long dead. Ai also gets a rival similar to what Akira becomes to Hikaru.
(Edit: I found out after posting this review that the author of the original light novels indeed used Hikaru no Go as an inspiration. It is mentioned in this interview with Shirow Shiratori.)
I can’t, however, say that there will be a lot of character growth within this show. I’m not even sure who really is the main character – Ai or Yaichi. I thought it would be about Yaichi, but it feels like he’s more of a supporting character to Ai, and exists for the viewer to relate to him and envy his harem of elementary school students. I would had preferred more focus on Yaichi himself, but aside from a few inner monologues of Yaichi’s it seems to be Ai who is the focus of the entire show. Whether it is like that in the books, I cannot say.
In short, I don’t really recommend it, but could see people – who don’t mind a bunch of elementary school student being in love with a 16-year-old – enjoy it if they like shows such as Hikaru no Go. If you on the other hand look for something like March Comes In Like A Lion, you’re completely on the wrong track. But Hikaru no Go is many times better than The Ryuo’s Work is Never Done!, if you ask me. And so it most likely March Comes In Like A Lion as well.
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